August 5, 2006
Plot Outline:A wife and mother begins a downward emotional spiral, as her husband avoids their collapsing marriage by immersing himself in his 11 year-old daughter’s quest to become a spelling bee champion.
Anyway, I got this movie from 2005, and thought to myself “How strange is that I didn’t catch it up on the cinema?”. Anyway, I got a little bit disappointed. Not directly with Richard Gere performance which was great as always but with the movie itself. The Bee competition is, IMO, an excellent opportunity for teenagers to participate in an intellectual competition (more about the Spelling Bee in the end of the post) and the movie is centered on it, however, there’s also a heavy religious component on the movie which was a bit too much. At the end, I just asked myself: “Why was the religious component important in the movie at all?” I can assess some logic to it like Aaron changing religion, etc, but no logic at all in Eliza trying to talk with God.
Still, the movie is good apart from the religious components and the sadness component in most of the movie. If you need a recent ‘cheer-up’ movie for an afternoon or evening, I would advise you to get, also from Richard Gere, Shall we Dance.
For those who not know what the Bee is about, the Spelling Bee is a very well-known competition in the states where people try to spell some words in order to win a competition. Although it seems easy, words get increasingly difficult, to the point where some words are really hard and you can only derive their spelling by knowing its roots. The official site can be found here.
The only variation I know on the Bee is the MIT Integration Bee, where off course, instead of having to spell a given word, you have to solve a given integral… and you have 4 minutes per integral. Well, it’s very, very, very nice to see students excited by solving integrals. The competition seems extremely interesting and it’s really unfortunate that it seems unique in the world.
You can find some examples of integrals from the MIT Integration Bee here.